Oct. 28, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash- The Washington State men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Eugene, Ore., for the Pacific-10 Championships Friday, Oct.31, hosted by the University of Oregon...the Cougar women's 6,000m race will take place at 2:25 p.m., while the men's 8,000m race takes place at 3:25 p.m.
THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Both races feature nationally-ranked competition...on the men's side the Cougars will face top-ranked Oregon, as well as No. 2 Stanford, No. 13 UCLA, No. 24 California and No. 24 Washington...four Pac-10 women's team are ranked as well...No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Stanford, No. 15 Arizona State, and No. 18 Stanford...each team is allowed a maximum of 10 runners with five scoring and two used for team scoring displacement...the course terrain is comprised mostly of grass with short stretches on a dirt road...for more information visit the University of Oregon's athletics website at http://www.goducks.com.
WSU MEN: The Cougar men will have 10 competitors in Eugene...senior Drew Polley looks to improve on his team-leading performances...WSU will also look to senior Evan Blanshan, juniors Sam Ahlbeck, Dominic Smargaissi and Mark Moeller...sophomores David Hickerson, Luke Lemenager and Peter Miller...as well as freshmen Jono Lafler and Justin Englund.
DRAKE'S TAKE ON THE MEN'S SIDE: "The top five teams in our conference are ranked," WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. "We are a bubble team that just needs to break through. If our two freshmen come and run well and with David Hickerson running well in his last race in Seattle, we will just need one of those three to have a good day and we will be in good shape."
WSU WOMEN: Ten women will compete for the Cougars Friday...leading WSU is junior Sara Trané who hopes to improve on an already strong season...the Cougars will also look to juniors Lisa Egami, Chelsea VanDeBrake and Marisa Sandoval...sophomores Amanda Andrews and Ashlee Wall, as well as freshmen Sarah Dunn, Michelly Foley, Emily Farrar and Mietra Smollack will all be counted on to run well.
DRAKE'S TAKE ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: "We were fifth last year, so that is what we want as a goal again this year," Drake said. "It's just a little bit tougher this year because the depth of the conference is a little deeper this year. I think that Sara and Lisa can be up near the top 10 in the race and that is very good running in our conference."
COUGAR HISTORY AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: WSU hosted the Pac-10 Championships in 2003...eight Cougar men have won the individual title since 1969...two WSU men have won the Pac-10 race in the last 20 years, Bernard Lagat (1997) and Josephat Kapkory (1992 and 1993)...Danny Wolf placed ninth in the race in 2004...the last Cougar women to place in the top 20 were Everlyne Lagat, who finished fourth in 2001, Anna Blue, who finished 20th in 2002, Haley Paul who finished sixth in 2005 and 11th in 2006 and Isley Gonzalez who finished 8th in 2007...Ryan Gilmore placed 11th in 2000...Woody Favinger (18th) and Alex Grant (19th) both placed in the top-20 in 2006...Jennifer Bravard won the Pac-10 Championship in 1989, the only Cougar woman ever to take the title.
NEXT COMPETITION: WSU will take a week off before traveling to Palo Alto, Calif., for the NCAA West Region Championships Sat., Nov. 15.